The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Friday, raised the alarm that certain Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government were evading duties and taxes on vehicles and other equipment imported into the country.
In a press statement issued by its Deputy National Public Relations Officer, Timi Bomodi, the NCS noted that except where waivers or concessions were sought and granted, all outstanding duties and taxes relating to such imports are expected to be paid in full.
According to him, only items imported by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are exempt from the payment of duties or taxes.
He said, “The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a trend noticed in the activities of certain Ministries, Departments and Agencies with regards to importation of vehicles and other equipments (sic).
“The NCS wishes to state that except where waivers and, or concessions were sought and granted, all outstanding duties and taxes relating to such imports are expected to be paid in full. This applies even in situations where these imports were executed by agents or proxies on their behalf.
“We wish to reiterate that by law, only items imported by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is exempted from the payment of duty or taxes.”
The Customs spokesman also warned that any contractor who imports on behalf of any MDAs and refuses to pay duties will be declared a fraudulent importer.
“The NCS is, therefore, by this notice sensitising MDAs, and advising them on the need to adhere strictly with import guidelines in this regard.
“Contractors who import and supply such equipment or vehicles without payment of duties should also be aware that they will be considered liable as fraudulent importers in such circumstance.
“We urge them to avail themselves of our trade facilitation tools available on and offline. This is necessary to avoid embarrassments in future,” Bomodi added.